Part 1: Small-scale Brown Paper Bag Technique

I’m linking up with Katie from Bower Power (whom I adore and her boys are so cute!!) for the Spring Edition of the Pinterest Challenge!!!


Last year I debuted the DIY Wooden Frames on our gallery wall. If you looked closely you could see a light blue “A” on the right side, between the larger and smaller frames. I originally got the cardboard “A” from Hobby Lobby with the intent of covering it in one of the endless possibilities I’ve seen on Pinterest. I think I was a bit overwhelmed with all the choices because in the end I simply taping a piece of small-scale, light blue chevron pattern scrapbook paper over it. The tiny pattern was lost and the color just seemed to blend in with the wall as well.

So back to Pinterest I went. I considered a number of different treatments but nothing really grabbed me until… I started seeing other bloggers gluing strips of brown-paper bags onto their floors, check out this Paper bag Floor, stained in a checkerboard pattern or these stair treads or this counter-top to achieve a leather-y look. I was in love and I really wanted to give this technique a try on something!!

Now, we have beautiful hardwood floors that Caveman & I, mostly Caveman, worked very hard to lay; so I’m not covering them up any time soon with this or any other treatment. And our counter-tops are roughly 6 years old, although I hate don’t love them. One day I’m either going to have my dreams come true and completely gut the kitchen or live with ’em until then. Currently I’m living with ’em! 😉 All that said, I really wanted to try this brown-paper bag technique on something….enter my cardboard “A” stage right!

I gathered my supplies together late one night…

DIY Cardboard A, Brown Paper Bag, Faux Leather

Mod Podge, large bowl, Cardboard “A”, roll of brown paper

Tore and crumpled 2×3″ pieces of brown paper (think small scale here)…

DIY Cardboard A, Brown Paper Bag, Faux Leather

tear, crumple, repeat…

Once I thought I had enough, I set the brown paper crumples aside so I could prep my cardboard “A“. I removed the scrapbook paper & tape…

DIY Cardboard A, Brown Paper Bag, Faux Leather

Carefully pealing off the tape…

Then I mixed up my bonding agent – 1 part Mod-Podge to 2 parts Water.


Mixed with a straw?? It was late!

Next I thoroughly wet the brown paper crumples, squeezed gently and set aside. You don’t want to leave them in there soaking because the paper just falls apart.

DIY Cardboard A, Brown Paper Bag, Faux Leather

Removing the papers

At this point I had to stop taking photos because both hands became too mod-podge-y (it a word) to safely operate the camera. But the idea is to take a wet paper piece, put onto the “A” and smooth out. You can re-wet the paper as needed. The cardboard “A” really soaked up the glue! I continued placing the paper pieces and smoothing them out until the “A” was completely covered, front & back.

DIY Cardboard A, Brown Paper Bag, Faux Leather

Completely covered – front & back.

OK, hands washed, glue drying on the “A”; back to taking photos. Here it is completely covered.

DIY Cardboard A, Brown Paper Bag, Faux Leather

The “A” next to it’s former shell, LOL!

This is the end of part 1. I’m on the fence as to move on to part 2 because I hung it back in it’s original spot to see if I liked it without the stain and sealer. I’ve been living with the “A” in this state for a months now and so far I really like it, plus the paper hasn’t peeled up or anything.


I know stain and sealer will probably bring out the leather-y look but I’m just not sure I want to do that yet. Maybe I’ll test the stain and sealer on one side and then you can help me by voting for your favorite. Sound good?


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15 thoughts on “Part 1: Small-scale Brown Paper Bag Technique

    • Thanks Suzanne! I’ve seen the posts about whole floors and/or counter tops too! I can’t imagine the time it would take but they look really cool! Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

  1. Pingback: Review of 2013 – Happy 2014! | Rubys N Purls

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